Cover image of the review
Tracey Moffatt, *Worship*, 2017, from the series Body Remembers, digital pigment print on rag paper 152 x 227 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

Tracey Moffatt: Body Remembers

4 May 2019
23 Mar - 11 Oct 2019

The shadows are the first thing you notice. They’re uncanny, haunting, impossible, technological.

Take Spirit House (2017), which has the one remaining wall of an abandoned limestone building—we are tempted to call it a mission church—casting its shadow under a cumulus-cloudy sky. It’s an impossible shadow because deep within it the tops of the grass stalks keep on glowing, the light from the two doorways faces in opposite directions and in one of these the shadow of a figure that is otherwise absent stands. And if we look even more closely, at the edge of the shadow at the front a strange glowing orb appears like a small displaced sun, matching the brilliant glint on the top of the roof.

Or take the clothing line of shadows strung together in Washing (2017), with the maid that the rest of the series otherwise depicts desperately trying to peg to the line a shirt whose arms wave demonically in the wind and a puzzling diagonal line running up the surface of the building, which again we sense is abandoned. The figure of the maid strikes us as wraith-like as the shirt and she appears herself pegged to the line, and just as liable to blow off into the empty field behind.

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